Posted Date: December 2, 2009
Carol Voelker analyzes this course, designed by Tami McClung, from the 2009 Cynosport World Games.
This course looked fast, even before dogs started running it. There were not many places for off courses, so winning came down to how fast a dog (and handler) could run and how tightly the dog could turn. Talking with Judge McClung during the walkthroughs, she said she was looking for a fast, flowing course. The left turn off the A-frame into the weave poles and then a left turn over a line of jumps was a specific challenge she wanted in the course (See #5 - #9). She was looking forward to seeing this sequence handled in several different ways. "I am hoping to see the handlers either running with their dogs while weaving or using independent weave poles and crossing to the other side of the jumps while the dog is weaving."
The course did run very fast. After the runs were finished, the top time for the Performance ring was 24.39 seconds. The area where the most time was lost on course was probably at the weave pole entry; some dogs have to reattempt it, but overall the course ran great with very few eliminations earned. Most handlers in the Performance ring ran the weaves along side their dog. But when McClung watched the Steeplechase competitors running the same course, she saw several championship dogs demonstrating independent weave pole performances.
Fast and flowing was what Tami McClung was looking for and that is what she got! What a fun course to watch all day.
Carol Voelker is a USDAA judge and has judged at this event in 2005, 2006, 2008. She has a small training school inCentral Minnesota called Tails In Motion. In her spare time she is a substitute teacher for kindergarten through 12th grade in the local school districts.